“I swear, if they’re playing Christmas music …” I grumbled.
“Well, I mean, it’s that time of year …” Manfriend responded.
On we hustled, grateful that what had been a muggy Singapore day had faded into a much cooler evening.
Bobbing and weaving through the crowds, we were off to our second of two light shows. The first had been, well … “incredible” just didn’t seem to do it justice. The lights, the intricacy — “Spectra” at the Marina Bay Sands had definitely impressed. So now we were off to the Garden by the Bay, hoping for an equally grand experience.
“You know, if it is Christmas music, we could always go back …” Manfriend started.
I rolled my eyes. Leave it to him to want an immediate second helping — Manfriend had always been a sucker for bright lights. And well, any reader of mine knows I’m no Christmas lover. And in this balmy city, flaunting a dress in December, I couldn’t have been further from a holly jolly mood.
In fact, we had already remarked on this a few times. I mean, the Starbucks’ shops in Beijing had been spewing out “Jingle Bells” for weeks already, but Singapore had donned all their gay apparel just as early. Glittering trees and fake presents stood near every mall’s entrance. Sleigh bells jangled from store speakers. We were caught in a semi-tropical Christmas story, without even an ounce of enthusiasm for any of it.
No, we were agreed — should any carols drift our way that night, we would head back to Spectra. Lasers and great streams of water were more our style that night. But still, I needed to make sure, and with the Gardens by the Bay just ahead, it was worth the extra hustle.
Even at a distance, you could see the intricate weaving and winding of lights around the iconic, almost golf tee-shaped “trees.” I flashed back to my last trip to Singapore. My friends and I had lazed about in that garden for an hour. I’d known then I would need to bring Manfriend there one day.
But as we jogged up, we saw the queue. Apparently, half of the city also planned on a lovely night among the faux trees. The cheap seats would have to do, with a bridge nearby offering views that would suit us just fine.
There it was, though — those dreaded holiday tunes.
After a few selfies, we were off again.
As we raced back, retracing our hasty steps, we had to chuckle. Dashing off to a show we had literally just seen — typical of us, really. We always seemed to add a dash of silliness to things. With the show’s opening crescendo, we found a few spots toward the back.
And so, in each other’s arms, we watched water and lights collide. In the distance, Singapore’s skyline twinkled and shined.
This would do, for these holiday nay-sayers. And to you all, we wish you a holiday season that is completely perfect for you.